I love comics.
I also love toys that are based on comics.
If they’re toys that are based on a particular comic, then all the better, and McFarlane Toys have us spoiled with some of the offerings today. We’ve got two different Batman figures from two different comic series, two Jokers to accompany one of the Batmans (Batmen? Bats-man? I make this “joke” all the time, but I’m still not sure which is correct), and a sweet ride from an entirely different Batman comic series.
So if you’re like me and still like to pit your toys against each other in recreations of famous scenes, along with brand new ones, then you’re bound to enjoy what’s on the slate this week.
Batman with battle damage (Dark Knights: Metal)
Batman with battle axes. Metal indeed, my friends.
Leaping from the cover of the first issue of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s insane Dark Multiverse-spanning even Dark Knights: Metal, Batman here is a little worse for wear. That’s okay, though, because he looks so very cool with his tattered cape, rips and cuts in his suit, and the aforementioned axes held in each hand. This is a solid figure all around, with a great sculpt and tons of details on the suit. There are rivets and piping on Batman’s suit, giving it quite a few different textures to make it look all the more battle-ready and practical, and it perfectly captures Capullo’s Rebirth design. I may be in the minority here, but I absolutely love the purple interior of the cape. Much like the Animated Series design with the dark blue cape interior, the purple helps break up the black and gray of the rest of the suit, and makes the tattered bits of the cape here look all the more impressive.
The only minor drawbacks are the chunky gauntlets, which look a bit blocky compared to the rest of the outfit, and the stiffness of the cape. Yeah, it looks really, really awesome, but it’s rigid and can hardly be moved at all. That makes its versatility in posing limited, but it’s short enough that it never gets in the way, so it’s practically a non-issue.
Batman (Three Jokers)
Heading over to another highly anticipated series, here we have Batman as he appeared in the acclaimed Three Jokers miniseries. Just taking it as itself, this is very much a good all around Batman figure, whether it’s tied to a comic series or not. The sculpt is a bit on the heftier side, as Jason Fabok’s Batman is less Jim Aparo lean and more Jim Lee mass of muscles, but that doesn’t keep the figure from being highly posable. I love how Fabok took inspiration from various Batsuits from different mediums, and that translates here too: the raised chest logo is akin to the Batman Incorporated suit, and the boots and capsule belt are decidedly Batman ’89. His expression is appropriately grim and determined, and I was able to get some pretty cool poses out of him, though the lack of accessories was a bit disappointing. All he comes with is a grappling gun– which is admittedly pretty sweet– and that’s it. Not even a second set of hands. Even still, if you want a well-made, fairly evergreen Batman figure, you can do much worse than this one.
The Joker: The Criminal (Three Jokers)
Staying in the world of Three Jokers, here we have one of the titular Clown Princes of Crime, and the one that was supposedly the original from 1940’s Batman #1. Like the Criminal Joker from Three Jokers, this figure is quite stoic, with a blank, almost empty look on his face. That adds to his creepiness, of course, as this is a Joker that’s all about calculations and planning rather than insanity and chaos.
The rest of the figure is a bit of a mixed bag, though. The sculpting is fine, but different colored plastics are used for the joints, making the body and limbs look a bit weird against the lighter elbows and knees. The included cane accessory is good for setting a pose or two, but it’s made of a softer plastic so it’s pretty easy to bend and warp. This isn’t a bad Joker figure, but it isn’t the best one that McFarlane has sent me either.
The Joker: The Clown (Three Jokers)
Now this Joker is a good one. Possibly the most unhinged of the Three Jokers, this is the fiend who beat and killed Jason Todd back in A Death in the Family. It can also be assumed that he’s the same one who tried to hatch a scheme to trademark “Joker fish,” as evidenced by his truly disturbing fish accessory, and really, he’s got the look I like to envision when I think of the Joker. His suit is much more consistent than the Criminal’s, with colors that evoke Cesar Romero’s costume in Batman ’66, and I love his sinister grin and the flower on his lapel. Overall, I might honestly give the edge to the Mortal Kombat 11 Joker as best of the bunch, but this one is a close second. The clearly defined comic book roots certainly help.
Batcycle (Curse of the White Knight)
To be honest, I didn’t like the look of Sean Gordon Murphy’s Batcycle in his White Knight books. Granted, I didn’t like a lot of his aesthetic choices, but for a guy who is so good at drawing vehicles, I was expecting more from his take on Batman’s choice of two-wheeled transportation. It was just too long and rectangular, looking like a grounded cousin of Rey’s speeder from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
With that out of the way, I will say that it makes a pretty cool toy. Yeah, its silhouette is still kind of weird, looking like somebody stuck two metal sheets to the side of the Batpod from The Dark Knight. Still, it rolls really well, and looks great when a figure is “driving.” It also comes fully assembled, which was a blessing, and didn’t require any stickers or adjustments to be play ready. Nope, just snip the plastic ties holding it in place and it’s ready to go right out of the box. Just be careful with the foot rests, because they’re kind of fragile.
OVERALL: I’ll always be down for more action figures based on comic book stories, and this was a pretty strong batch based on some popular series. It’s nice seeing just how versatile a character Batman is when rendered in plastic, as the two Dark Knight figures look very different from one another, while still being great representations of Batman. You’ve got to have a Joker when you have Batman, too, so the fact that you can get three separate takes on the character from one line speaks to McFarlane’s diversity. That McFarlane makes vehicles for their action figures that are as solidly built as the characters themselves is a nice added bonus, and the unique White Knight Batcycle fits that mold for sure.
Disclaimer: McFarlane Toys provided Batman-News.com with the items in this post for the purposes of review.
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